Oprah Winfrey was sued for defamation when she falsely accused the headmistress of her South African school of being aware of abuse. This accusation was made after allegations of abuse and scandal were reportedly done by the school’s dorm mothers. Judge Robreno allowed the defamation case to move forward, and scheduled a court proceeding. Winfrey settled out of court with Mzamane, the settlement of terms were not released.
The main reason that Mzamane was suing Oprah for defamation is because Mzamane stated that after being suspended, then eventually fired, for allegedly not having knowledge as the headmistress of the school that students were being subjected to abuse at the hands of what is now known by dorm mother. In a private meeting with the students parents, which is now on record, Winfrey stated to parents that Mzamane knew of the abuse, and covered it up, and also that she lost confidence in Mzamane to properly run the school, which is why she was fired. Also, when complaints came to Mzamane, she didn’t take them seriously. Because of these allegations and statements, the U.S. District judge Robreno, Philadelphia ruled that Winfrey’s comments were interpreted to be defamatory and a trial was set. Mzamane stated that she suffered from a damaged reputation by these claims and allegations, and also that she was unaware of any reports, and wasn’t given a chance to explain her side of the story before she was fired. Mzamane also stated that because of this, she wasn’t able to get a job for another year.